Competencies IS the collection of success factors necessary for achieving important results in a specific job or work role in a particular organization. Success factors are combinations of knowledge, skills, and attributes that are described in terms of specific behaviors, and are demonstrated by superior performers in those jobs or work roles. Attributes include: personal characteristics, traits, motives, values or ways of thinking that impact an individual’s behavior. Competencies in organizations tend to fall into two broad categories: - Personal Functioning Competencies. These competencies include broad success factors not tied to a specific work function or industry (often focusing on leadership or emotional intelligence behaviors). - Functional/Technical Competencies. These competencies include specific success factors within a given work function or industry. Three other definitions are needed:
• Competency Map. A competency map is a list of an individual’s competencies that represent the factors most critical to success in given jobs, departments, organizations, or industries that are part of the individual’s current career plan. • Competency Mapping. Competency mapping is a process an individual uses to identify and describe competencies that are the most critical to success in a work situation or work role. • Top Competencies. Top competencies are the vital few competencies (four to seven, on average) that are the most important to an individual in their ongoing career management process. “Importance to the individual” is an intuitive decision based on a combination of three factors: past demonstrated excellence in using the competency, inner passion for using the competency, and the current or likely future demand for the competency in the individual’s current position or targeted career field. Although the definition above for “competency mapping” refers to individual employees, organizations also “map” competencies, but from a different perspective. Organizations describe, or map, competencies using one or more of the following four strategies: 1. Organization-Wide (often called “core competencies” or those required for organization success) 2. Job Family or Business Unit Competency Sets
3. Position-Specific Competency Sets
4. Competency Sets Defined Relative to the Level of Employee Contribution (i.e. Individual Contributor, Manager, or Organizational Leader)
Tools for competency mapping:
Literature Review: A preliminary approach for defining job content and identifying required competencies is to conduct a review of the literature to learn about previous studies of the job or similar jobs. Focus Groups: In focus groups, a facilitator works with a small group of job incumbents, their managers, supervisees, clients, or others to define the job content or to identify the competencies they believe are essential for performance. Structured Interviews: In structured interviews, carefully planned questions are asked individually of job incumbents, their managers, or others familiar with the job. Benchmarking interviews with other organizations are especially useful in achieving a broader view of the job or determining which competencies are more universally deemed necessary for a particular job. Behavioral Event Interviews: In behavioral event interviews (BEI), top performers are interviewed individually about what they did, thought, said, and felt in challenging or difficult situations. The competencies that were instrumental in their success are extrapolated from their stories. Often, average and low performers are also interviewed to provide a comparison. Surveys: In surveys, job incumbents, their supervisors, and perhaps senior managers complete a questionnaire administered either in print or electronically. The survey content is based on previous data collection Observations: In this data collection method, the research team visits high-performing...